(Posted March 9, 2001)

Michael Renner, a researcher who leads a project centering on animal behavior at the Philadelphia Zoo, will lecture on "Big and Little Furry Things: Studies of the Animal Mind" at 7:30 p.m. March 22 in 402 Good Hall on the campus of Juniata College.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Juniata's psychology department; Psi Chi, the honorary society for psychology; and Tri Beta, the honorary society for biology.

Renner, professor of psychology at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., works in cooperation with the Philadelphia Zoo to study the behavior of gorillas, orangutans, monkeys and bears. For example the research team is studying four western lowland gorillas as they adjust to a new enclosure and to each other. In another project, the researchers have studied how to make better environments for polar bears and sloth bears.

Renner also has started research programs on how black and white colobus monkeys and spectacled langurs psychologically adjust to a new enclosure facility. The researchers also are working with two adolescent orangutans and two infant colubus monkeys.

Renner started his career as a visiting lecturer at the University of Wyoming from 1984 to 1986. He was hired as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1986. In 1988, he moved to the University of Memphis as an assistant professor. In 1992, he became professor of psychology at West Chester University. He also is interim associate vice president for faculty development, scholarship and research.

Renner earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho in 1977 and went on to earn a master's degree in developmental psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 1979. He earned a doctorate in biological psychology from the University of California-Berkeley in 1984.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.